It's The Staging Stupid!!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc

So I have a long blog coming soon that will reveal to sellers EXACTLY the steps necessary to sell their house FSBO. Including how Flat fee MLS services work (ie only paying the buyer agent).

But I had to write about this first. 

A buddy of mine in Chicago wanted to sell his place. He, like almost every person in the United States NEEDS that last $5k, or $10k, so he wanted to "save" and sell it by owner. I, the oftentimes Anti-Realtor, told him NOT to take this approach (I guess I am more of an ANTI-SUCKY-ASS-AGENTS agent).

So I told him I'd find him a great Realtor (no I didn't take a cut). 

First I had him email me a couple agents that he knew of, and I did a stealth interview of the agent. There I was ,an agent from Virginia, and this Realtor was feeding me B.S. His marketing materials boasted that they put your house on 600 websites and they put your house in front of 700 million homes. I recently read in BusinessWeek that India now has 50 million internet users. Thank God they can all see my friends condo!  I hate marketing that is just short of flat out lying and meant to confuse customers, or to play the "I have a longer checklist than yours" contest. 

Oh and that 600 websites... as I suspected (after calling him out on it), he only puts it onto this thing called the "M" "L" "S" (ever heard of it?) and the 599 other websites pull from the MLS and rebroadcast the data (in other words all Realtor get on the same 600 websites). 

So I was on my own. I looked to ActiveRain to get a good Chicago Realtor.

I didn't care too much for the agents that were on here in Chicago, so what does one do....

I found the PERFECT solution for finding a great agent! GO TO A STAGER!! I went to a top stager and asked him "Give me some names of agents that have used you. By merely using you, they are 99% ahead of the game and they 'get it', and they will help me friend net more."

Sure enough, my buddy got the property staged. The agent was young, but sharp, he got it. And low and behold...

it sold in 4 days for OVER what he wanted (net) to get FSBO and it got bid up $7k - $10k over what he wanted.

He couldn't be more excited.

Thank you stagers! How do we get more customers to take a HANDS-OFF approach and just say "Do what you need to do" and not debate every $500? 

 

Frank LL0SA Broker FranklyRealty.com Virginia 

 

p.s. Good photography was also a requirement when I was checking out agents. 

 

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Rainer
60,063
Steven Shewell
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. - Ephrata, PA
The Mortgage Maverick
Way to think outside the box, Frank.  I great approach to solving your problem.
Apr 17, 2007 01:46 AM #12
Rainer
78,225
Mike Stankewich, MBA, e-PRO - ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty, Inc. - Huntington Beach, CA

Frank,

What a rip-off ad!!!  In addition to Hotmail.com, I didn't know AT&T Worldnet was selling homes???

Where do you find all this interesting stuff?

Keep it up!

Apr 17, 2007 08:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
138,124
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA

Mike,

I asked my Chicago friend to give me a couple names of Realtors that he knew (either through friends of local listings) and this guy came up.

 

Did you see COMPUSERVE on there! Hello 1996 called and they want their broke companies back!   

 

I feel bad for sellers that have to weed through this crap and find a good agent. 

Apr 17, 2007 08:22 AM #14
Rainer
21,056
Home Staging
Reston, VA

Frank - interesting post.  I get folks asking me for realtor referrals also. My list of Realtors I will refer to is pretty short, can count em all on my one lil hand.

Staging really does work...the next few months will definitely bring about a demand shift. Stagers...hold on to your hats.  Post like this will keep coming!

 

Apr 17, 2007 09:48 AM #15
Rainer
138,389
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

First congrats on going to a successful stager and knowing that they work with successful realtors who GET IT. I just did a blog about that. The realtors I work with use me on all their listings and they sell their homes immediately for full price or over asking...

Now what you need to do is hook up with an excellent stager and have them come on all your listings and have them do the dirty work by telling them everything they see that needs to be done to the home. But the key here is have them submit a proposal to the seller for the cost to do the work like repairs, painting, staging, etc.

Show them your stats and tell those resistant guys how they would not sell their car without detailing it first, then why would they sell their home (their largest investment) without sprucing that up as well.

I don't think you are Staging Stupid!!! Kudos to you

Phyllis Pafumi  

Apr 17, 2007 04:15 PM #16
Ambassador
1,366,513
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents
Frank: I thought this was a very smart way of trying to find the realtor for your friend.... That 600 website ad makes me sick. Nothing gets to me for false/ irresponsible advertising.
Apr 18, 2007 04:02 AM #17
Rainmaker
290,014
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
 On your p.s. did that mean the agents had to look good in their photos - I'm thinking maybe glamor shots should get a link there.
Apr 18, 2007 04:11 AM #18
Rainer
77,324
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Kathleen, Since Frank isn't here I will take this time to ;) You are funny.
Apr 18, 2007 04:16 AM #19
Rainmaker
138,124
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA

Need I say more?     

Apr 18, 2007 09:56 AM #20
Rainmaker
230,979
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

Frank... it is a team effort. Stagers NEED GREAT realtors that "GET IT".

We just hired a new sales person, who IS a Realtor, she is AMAZED how realtor freeze up and shut down when you mention staging.

I don't know if Realtors are threathed by stagers, confused by stagers, or unsure of stagers.  But there is a BLOCK there that the REALTOR puts up.

BUT then there are those savvy REALTORS that do "GET IT" and THEY are winning because they do.

AWESOME POST.

ME ;)

 

 

Apr 18, 2007 10:31 AM #21
Rainer
52,786
Dan Allred
Allred Realty - Thousand Oaks, CA
DRE#01761967
Great blog and great push for a part of our profession that is so vital
Apr 18, 2007 01:09 PM #22
Rainmaker
138,124
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA
Hey Stagers! I need your opinion over on mynew website: www.AgentsThatDontSuck.com
Apr 30, 2007 01:59 AM #23
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

Frank - I was just trying to help a friend find an agent for a vacation home that the are trying to sell.  First I checked AR - couldn't find one.  Then I tried to find a stager in the area - no luck. Then I went pouring through MLS to try to see who had good photos.  In this particular area most homes only had one exterior photo, but I did find 2 agents who seem to show well on MLS anyway.  

My friends said their home has been on the market for 8mo with no leads.  I tried to find it on Realtor.com and the local MLS service and I was shocked to find it was not even listed.  The friends say they call the realtor every week to complain.  He says he is working on it.  Really it is their fault for not following up.  I gave them a basic crash course and the names of the 2 agents.  

I really would not have though of how to find an agent in a different area if I had not read your blog.  Thanks! 

Apr 30, 2007 07:48 AM #24
Rainmaker
138,124
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA
It has to be on Realtor.com, if it isn't then it isn't on the MLS at all.
Apr 30, 2007 07:53 AM #25
Rainmaker
290,014
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Stage, Stage, Stage - right on there Franky boy

Maybe stage, stage, stage, stage......... 

Apr 30, 2007 08:03 AM #26
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
I know - that's what I told them.  If it is not on Realtor.com it is not actually for sale.  The weirdest thing is that for 8 months these people have been calling the "realtor" for updates every few weeks.  I can't even imagine what the conversations are like!  I asked them when their contract expires with the realtor and they said they don't even have one.  Really, you can't make this stuff up. 
Apr 30, 2007 01:25 PM #27
Rainmaker
138,124
FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc - Arlington, VA

Wow.

So a) call the broker (the one in charge of the brokerage company)

b)  Hire another Realtor.

 

If you hire another Realtor they will find out quickly if it is listed elsewhere.

 

Frank 

Apr 30, 2007 01:28 PM #28
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

Frank - The agent is the owner of the Realty firm!  I think I found 2 good realtors for them to interview.  Both have multiple listings and pretty good pics on all their listings.  The home is vacant so we are going to do the staging then they are going to list it with the new agent.  Hopefully it will sell quickly.

 

Apr 30, 2007 01:35 PM #29
Rainmaker
305,604
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Frank, I don't know why I haven't read your blog before this week (I hadn't been on AR from mid April to late) - but now I'm keeping tabs on what you have to say.  Loved your post.

Your positive approach to staging is refreshing and I only hope that it's contagious to all areas of the country.  I know that staging is not new but for some it's still not a "necessary" part of the real estate selling process - what agents don't seem to see is that we are also a vehicle to help them GET LISTINGS!

Homeowners do call us first many times - I've had some insist when they call ask, "are you a realtor?" I say No. But I know they may need one or try  FSBO and the Realtors who I know and TRUST will be the first on my list to recommend. 

The TEAM approach is what I want and for some reason we more often than not are not invited to play on their team - in fact rejection is the norm - and we are truly heavy hitters that can help them win their game! - I feel a blog coming on.....

May 10, 2007 12:31 AM #30
Rainmaker
152,435
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

It's now 18 moths since you posted this blog and I find it's amazing that we still have realtors who go blank at suggestions of staging.

I'm fighting everyday.  The realtors say the owners don't want to spend the money.  How would they know if they haven't asked AND they don't know how much we charge.

You are great and will be in the business long after the non believers are gone.

Sep 21, 2008 04:00 PM #31
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